Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From St. Albert, Alberta, Canada:

My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age six. Recently, she attended a wake-a-thon which required staying awake all night. We had planned carefully, adding several extra blood tests and lots of extra food to accommodate the extra activity. The following day, I woke her two hours after she had been asleep and her blood sugar was 8.6 mmol/L [155 mg/dl]. An hour and a half later, when I woke her for lunch, she seemed perfectly fine, but when sat down at the table, she started shaking. I gave her two spoonfuls of honey and then she went into a full seizure. I called the paramedics who gave her with intravenous glucose and oxygen, and took her to the hospital for a few hours of observation. Does sleep deprivation lower her resistance to seizure? She had one febrile seizure as a baby. Could this indicate that she is more likely to have seizures? Her lips turned blue during the seizure. Is there a risk of respiratory failure during a seizure requiring CPR? How typical is it for a person with diabetes to have a seizure with a low blood sugar instead of just passing out?


  • Sleep deprivation does lower seizure threshold, but is not likely really clinically significant in most people with one night's worth of missed sleep.
  • Febrile seizures as a child generally have no long term effects. So, that possibility is probably not the cause.
  • Her blue lips do suggest partial lack of oxygen.
  • Seizures are a common part of severe hypoglycemia.
  • I suspect your daughter had a lot of activity during the wake-a-thon, and the effects of exercise reached into the morning. Even though your daughter blood sugar was 8.6 mmol/L [155 mg/dl], it was on the way down. All in all, I think she was going low from the exercise and did the same all the way to a seizure.


Original posting 19 Mar 2001
Posted to Hypoglycemia


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:20
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.